We’re returning to Revolutionary War era Long Island on this episode of The Long Island History Project podcast. And while the Culper Spy Ring does play a part, we are turning the focus to a woman whose story and connections to the Ring were ignored and misrepresented until reconstructed by Claire Bellerjeau. Her book with Tiffany Yecke Brooks, Espionage and Enslavement in the Revolution (Lyons Press, 2021), brought to life the meticulous research Bellerjeau conducted over years to illustrate Liss (Elizabeth), a woman surviving through tumultuous times.
Their latest book (and non-profit organization) is Remember Liss which brings the story to students and educators. Combined with primary sources through the New York State Archives, Remember Liss is a fascinating journey through the late 17th and early 18th centuries on Long Island, the city of New York, and South Carolina. It uses documents, letters, and similar records to show the struggles of a woman born into slavery in Oyster Bay, her ties to Robert Townsend (Culper Jr), General John Simcoe, Major John Andre, and the lengths she would go to in order to gain her freedom.
You can listen to the podcast here.
The Long Island History Project is an independent podcast featuring stories and interviews with people passionate about Long Island history. It is hosted by academic librarian Chris Kretz.
Listen to more New York Almanack podcasts HERE.